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Severe Pectus Excavatum Associated With Cor Pulmonale and Chronic Respiratory Acidosis in a Young Woman*

Ravichandran Theerthakarai, MD; Walid El-Halees, MD; Seyed Javadpoor, MD; M. Anees Khan, MD, FCCP
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*From the Pulmonary Division, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (Drs. Theerthakarai, El-Halees, and Javadpoor), Paterson, NJ; and Seton Hall University (Dr. Khan), School of Graduate Medical Education, South Orange, NJ.

Correspondence to: M. Anees Khan, MD, FCCP, Chief, Pulmonary Division, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, 703 Main St, Paterson, NJ 07503



Chest. 2001;119(6):1957-1961. doi:10.1378/chest.119.6.1957
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Pectus excavatum has never been reported to cause hypercapnic respiratory failure. In this report, we describe the first such case in a young woman with severe pectus excavatum who presented with chronic respiratory acidosis, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic cor pulmonale. An extensive diagnostic workup failed to uncover any other cause of respiratory acidosis, which led us to conclude that the severe chest wall deformity and the resulting severe restrictive defect were responsible for the development of chronic respiratory acidosis and cor pulmonale.

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